This Just In! ET’s Four Minute ‘Thor’ Set-Visit Video

Last week, everybody was all abuzz over this photo of Chris Evans in Captain America costume, but frankly I’m I’ve never been a fan of the show when I was a kid. Well actually, neither was I on this Thor story, in fact I had no idea what the comic book was about. That is until I read that Kenneth Branagh is directing, and a slew of awesome cast is revealed that suddenly I was intrigued (read my Thor flix spotlight post for the plot/cast details).

Click to see the larger version
Chris Hemsworth in THOR costume

I hardly ever watched Entertainment Tonight as it’s mostly full of trashy and gossip-y stuff about pseudo celebs I’d never spend a minute paying attention to. But every once in a while we’ve got something worthwhile, and this one certainly is. WOW, I had no idea Chris Hemsworth was on Australia’s Dancing with the Stars show. Too funny! Natalie Portman herself was bemused, but the Aussie actor was rather proud of that fact, ‘… it’s much more prestigious in Australia…” He..he.. ok, we believe you, Chris! 🙂 Looks like another unknown rugged Aussie actor is plucked out of obscurity the way Sam Worthington was with Avatar.

Anyway, I wish they had shown more than a super brief glimpse of him in costume as the ancient God of Thunder, as well as Anthony Hopkins with his eye patch as his father, Odin. I was a bit baffled by the modern day setting (isn’t he supposed to be in ancient mythology world like Clash of the Titans?). Well, apparently according to this interview with Branagh, the epic will be split between the present day and the ancient world of Asgard.

At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

This is what Branagh said on the subject: “Inspired by the comic book world both pictorially and compositionally at once, we’ve tried to find a way to make a virtue and a celebration of the distinction between the worlds that exist in the film but absolutely make them live in the same world,”

We’ll see how he’ll pull that off come May 6, 2011.

Absolutely Drool-Worthy INCEPTION banners

Hello folks, sorry this is not a cop out for me being too tired to post today. No, I take that back, it sort of is, but I just came back from an out-of-town conference and am in dire need of sleep. But when I saw these featured on several movie blogs, my jaw just dropped.

I’ve promised myself not to put any more trailer or clips of this movie or learn anything about the plot as to retain the ‘freshness’ of the movie-watching experience when I see it come July 16th. But these banners don’t actually reveal much of anything, they’re striking but still as enigmatic as the trailer, which is a very good thing. Anyway, words fail me to describe how much I love these, except that I might try to get my hands on ’em to cover the walls of my cube!

For a detailed look of each banner, check out Virgin Media movie site (Large version accessible via the Click here to view the full-size version link).

Man, I’m so psyched for this movie. Will this be bigger than Avatar? Well, I think we can expect it’ll be a heck of a lot smarter!

Summer Flix Time! The Five to Watch in June

TGIF! Summer movie season is finally here. After a lackluster Memorial weekend (which was the worst in terms of box office in 17 years), I’m looking forward to a bunch of movies coming out in the next few months.

To get things started, here are FIVE I’d [try to] watch this month. A mix of two ‘quiet’ indies, two high-octane action flicks and one beloved Pixar animated feature. There’s something for everyone, right? So here goes:

» June 2

  • Ondine
    The story is a fairy tale centered on an Irish fisherman (Colin Farrell) who catches the mysterious Ondine (Alicja Bachleda) in his nets. After falling for one another, a dark figure from Ondine’s past threatens their love. Directed by Neil Jordan (Michael Colins, The Crying Game, The End of The Affair), and also stars fellow Irishman Stephen Rea, who’s been cast in nearly all of Jordan’s films.
    ..
    I was intrigued by this movie back when it premiered at TIFF last year. This new trailer revealed a bit more yet still retains its enigmatic quality, and the glowing review from Movieline I read recently made me REALLY want to see this. The fact that the Polish actress Bachleda and Farrell now have a child together since they met on set, you can bet they have a great chemistry together 🙂


» June 11

  • The A-Team
    You know the drill, but in case you’ve been living under a rock and never heard of this TV-show-based feature film, here’s the plot: A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed.

    Check your analytical/skeptical mind at the door and just simply enjoy this movie for what it is: a loud, popcorn blockbuster. Just like Jessica Biel says in the trailer: “They are the best, and they specialize in the ridiculous!” So there, the more bombastic, the better!


  • I Am Love

    I AM LOVE tells the story of the wealthy Recchi family, whose lives are undergoing sweeping changes. Eduardo Sr., the family patriarch, has decided to name a successor to the reigns of his massive industrial company, surprising everyone by splitting power between his son Tancredi, and grandson Edo. But Edo dreams of opening a restaurant with his friend Antonio, a handsome and talented chef. At the heart of the family is Tancredis wife Emma (Tilda Swinton), a Russian immigrant who has adopted the culture of Milan. An adoring and attentive mother, her existence is shocked to the core when she falls quickly and deeply in love with Edos friend and partner Antonio, and embarks on a passionate love affair that will change her family forever. (per Apple trailer site).

    I’m not too familiar with Swinton’s work. The first time I saw her was in The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio years ago, then as the villainous white witch in the Chronicles of Narnia series. The London-born actress — whose paternal ancestry is one of the oldest in Scotland – won an Oscar for her performance in Michael Clayton. She always comes across as cold and ruthless for some reason, but in this one she shows her warm, sultry side. The trailer is as exquisite as the gorgeous poster (with that romantic, swirly font), it might as well double as an Italian travel promo video with those picturesque vista of Milan.


» June 18

  • Toy Story 3
    It’s amazing that an animated feature, about toys of all things, that started fifteen years ago still generates this much interest! But the amazing thing with Pixar is, they just might be able to top the first two! Check out this retro style Groovin’ with Ken promo clip that debut in last year’s San Diego ComicCon. I’ve never even been into Barbie doll stuff, but I’m totally digging this hilarious video. Ken is voiced by Michael Keaton, it’s going to be a hoot!
    .



    Still, there’s no clip of Timothy Dalton’s voice as Mr. Pricklepants! [big pout] I guess I’d just have to wait a couple more weeks 😦 Anyway, you can check out the trailer on my previous post.

……

» June 25

  • Knight & Day

    My colleague Ted recently quipped, ‘Tom Cruise passed on SALT to do this? It’s the same movie!’ The role then went to Angelina Jolie and the character name went from Edwin to Evelyn. Anyway, he’s got a point there, but SALT looks so darn serious, while Knight & Day looks sprightly and whimsical, a sure-fire recipe for a quintessential Summer flick. Cruise and Cameron Diaz aren’t my fave actors in Hollywood, but the trailer looks like fun and they seem to have had a blast making this. Plus, I like espionage-themed movies with car chases and outrageous gunfights. The filming locations in Austria, Spain, and Jamaica will surely provide a scenic backdrop for those action sequences.
    ….

So what do you think folks? What are you excited to watch this month?

Upcoming Flix Spotlights: Killing Bono

Seems like there have been quite a lot of music icons biopics in the works lately. There’s the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy that premiered at Sundance last January, Joan Jett’s The Runaways with Twilight‘s Kristen Stewart out this month, and just a few weeks ago, I read some news about the Kurt Cobain biopic that’s apparently been long in the works. It’s still unknown who’s going to play the Nirvana’s front man though. This time it’s the Irish band U2’s turn. Since my hubby and I are going to a U2 concert in June, I thought I’d blog on this project.

28-year-old Brit Ben Barnes

Now, this one is a biopic of a different sort however. According to Variety, the movie will chronicle the early days of U2 from a rival band’s perspective, which is based on Neil McCormick’s book Killing Bono: I Was Bono’s Doppleganger. Set in the 1970s and the early 80s, it’s billed as a musical comedy. Ben Barnes (Chronicle of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Dorian Gray) has been cast as McCormick, who’s joined by his former Stardust‘s co-star Charlie Cox and Robert Shehaan (Red Riding).

A bit of info on the book: Bono himself wrote the foreword, and apparently the man himself came up with the ‘killing Bono’ idea, “… McCormick frankly sees Bono as his doppelganger, getting every opportunity that he wanted and desired, while McCormick seems to meet with every bad break under the sun.” The author formed a band with his brother, Ivan, and for a while, were just another fledging rock band coming out of Mount Temple (the Dublin school the author and Bono went to). But U2 made it, and McCormick continued to struggle, for years, and years, and years and years. (per blogcritics.org).

Irish Central reports that the movie has begun filming in Belfast (JustJarred posted a few on-set pics), which will last for about four weeks. Director Nick Hamm and producer Mark Huffman are both Belfast natives. The article also said an unreleased U2 song will also feature in the film, so I guess it’s got Bono’s blessings as well. Wonder if he’ll have a cameo role in the movie. I’m curious to see this one when it comes out later this year, sounds like an amusing premise. What do you think folks? Which of your favorite rock star(s) do you want to see get their own biopic?

Upcoming Flix Spotlight: Thor

Thor Cast
Branagh, Hopkins, Portman & Hemsworth

Is this a comic-based flick or another Hamlet adaptation? The cast for the upcoming Marvel comic adaptation Thor is is looking pretty high brow. First, we’ve got Shakesperean actor/director Kenneth Branagh at the helm. Second, the lineup includes the likes of Sir Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard and Samuel L. Jackson.

I’d never peg Branagh to be doing a movie like this, which is all the more reason I’m intrigued to see what he’ll bring to the table. Seems that more and more serious thespians are joining the comic-book bandwagon, just this week it’s been reported that Dame Helen Mirren will star in an espionage thriller Red, which is based on a DC comic. Now, some might think they are merely wanting a little piece of the superhero pie as one Cinematical writer put it. She also astutely noted that the quality of these genre flicks have been greatly improved over the years that if there ever was a stigma of being involved in those, it’s quickly eroding. I’d say it’s a win-win trend for everyone involved: the project gets some kind of prestige-boost, the actors get a heftier paycheck (as films of this genre usually get a relatively bigger budget), and we the moviegoers get to see higher-caliber acting alongside some kick-ass CGI. That’s definitely not a bad thing, especially the fact that with the continued success of both DC and Marvel projects, comic book flicks surely aren’t going away any time soon.

For anyone not familiar with the comics, here’s a quick plot summary from THR’s blog: The movie’s story sees the god of thunder Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions re-ignite an ancient war. As punishment, Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans. Once here, he learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends dark forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

Hopkins will play the Norse god Odin, who is Thor’s father and ruler of Asgard. Newcomer Chris Hemsworth (who’s last seen as Capt. Kirk’s father in Star Trek) has been given the role of Thor and Natalie Portman will play his love interest.

The movie is set to be released Summer of 2011.

On-set news of upcoming 2010 flicks

TGIF, folks!

  • A Team Cast
    Click to see a larger version

    Thanks to ComingSoon.net, here’s a first look of the main cast of the A-Team movie filming in Vancouver. From left, it’s Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as Sgt. “B.A.” Baracus, Liam Neeson as John “Hannibal” Smith, Sharlto Copley as Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock, and Bradley Cooper as Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck. Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson have also been added to the cast. At first glance, my fave newbie Sharlto kind of resembles Dirk Benedict here, who’s the original “Face” on the TV show. The movie is set to open next June.

  • In the Sept. issue of Total Film, Russell Crowe took some time out from watching the tennis match at Wimbledon to talk about his Robin Hood movie. Ridley Scott and the gang are currently shooting at Shepperton Studios and on location in Welsh beaches and Surrey woods. After undergoing a plethora of plot changes, the story as it stands now is this: Robin iCroweRobins an expert archer in the army of King Richard the Lionheart, who takes up the plight of the oppressed people of Nottingham against the scheming Sheriff (Matthew Macfayden is now confirmed in the role) and the dastardly Sir Godfrey (the character actor du jour Mark Strong). Crowe revealed to TF what Robin does in his spare time with Maid Marion (played by fellow Aussie Cate Blanchett), “So far we’ve ridden horses together, seen off bad gus, got naked (partially), wallowed chin-deep in mud, danced by firelight and kissed.” As for those rumors of scuffles with the the director? Crowe pooh-poohed the idea, saying that they’ve basically ‘agreed to disagree,’ and added, “There’s no yelling, no diva bullsh!t. We’re just trying to do something special every day.” » See some on-set pics over at TotalFilm site.
  • Leo & Marion on set
    Leo DiCaprio & Marion Cotillard on the set of Inception

    Yesterday I posted about Christopher Nolan’s auctioning an on-set visit to Inception. A while ago, a bunch of hi-res on-set pictures emerged online, you can see them in Comingsoon.net. Then yesterday, ScreenRant posted three leaked footage from the set. The actual plot is still shrouded in secrecy — which is typical of Nolan films — and the footage didn’t reveal much either. I actually like the fact that despite all the stuff being leaked, it’s still unclear what the movie is really about. All the cryptic teaser revealed was that it’s a contemporary sci-fi thriller set within the architecture of the mind. I hope they keep it a mystery until its release, which makes the theater experience a whole lot more fulfilling than if you already know all the spoilers. Now, I just wish it were released much sooner than July 16!

Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: (Untitled)

Its stark white poster thumbnail — not to mention the name — on Apple trailer page piqued my interest. It just screams ‘quirky’ before I even found out what it’s about. Sure enough, it’s even more oddball that I thought. Here’s the gist: In this smart, satirical comedy, a brooding avant-garde composer falls for the gorgeous owner of a trendy New York art gallery and the quirky worlds of contemporary art and music are set on a hilarious collision course

I must admit I’m not very familiar with Adam Goldberg’s work other than his stint in Friends and sporadically in various films. This role seems tailor-made for him though, as ‘quirky’ seems to be his middle name. Marley Shelton looks gorgeous here and seems to be having much more fun than in the now-canceled CBS show Eleventh Hour, despite having to work with hunky Rufus Sewell every day! Vinnie Jones is in this one, too, the other guy besides Jason Statham in most of Guy Ritchie flicks. He looks hilarious as the eccentric artist whose creations are on the bizarrely morbid side.

This one might be too out there for my taste but the trailer made me laugh out loud, especially the bits at the concert with the can … err bucket kicking absurdity. It’s intriguing enough to check out when the DVD arrives.

For you indie lovers whose taste err on the fringe side, (Untitled) is released in theaters on October 23rd.